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EDAC227 Person Centred Practice

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit forms part of the suite of units that enable students to explore issues related to professional practice through course work and professional experience. The first professional experience unit EDAC138 introduced students to organisational contexts that serve marginalised individuals. EDAC227 built on this understanding of organisational practice to focus the experience of particular marginalised individuals who are served by organisations and sets the foundation for this unit, EDAC313 Evidence-Based Practice which builds students' skills in critiquing professional practice.

This unit develops students' ability to meet the overall course outcome of being able to be effective change agents to influence structural change and advocate on behalf of marginalised people.

Professionals working in schools, community and human services engage on a daily basis with people who experience social problems. This unit focuses on ways of analysing and understanding these problems and developing solutions in a collaborative way. To be a good practitioner, one must be able to reflect on practice, evaluate outcomes and design improvements to practice. Students will identify an issue of concern, design a project proposal and undertake a literature review on their topic. During semester, in lectures and tutorials, students will identify practice issues they wish to explore in the professional experience. Following the professional experience students will reflect on their experience and provide a critique of practice with reference to current literature.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Establish human needs and appropriate service responses (GA4)

LO2 - Identify practice issues with reference to current literature (GA4)

LO3 - Critically examine service practice (GA4, GA7)

LO4 - Develop responses to improve service practice (GA7, GA8).

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 


Topics will include: 

  • Critiquing practice 
  • Defining a problem and writing a project proposal
  • Methods of collecting information
  • Designing and implementing a service evaluation
  • Analysing evidence and critically examining practice

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

150 hours in total with a normal expectation of 36 hours of directed study and the total contact hours should not exceed 36 hours. Directed study might include lectures, tutorials, webinars, podcasts etc. The balance of the hours then becomes private study. 

The teaching and learning organisation may take a number of forms, depending on specific course/subject requirements at the time of delivery, this may include a combination of face to face and/or online learning delivered on a weekly or intensive schedule. Tutorials and/or synchronous learning will enable students to participate in cooperative and supportive learning opportunities. All learning modes will be delivered and/or supported by a range of resources and activities on ACU’s technology learning platform (LEO). 

This unit has several hurdle tasks to complete, in order for students to be prepared to conduct their 100 hours of professional experience. The first assessment task requires student to complete an annotated bibliography on a relevant topic of interest (LO2). The second assessment prepares students to complete their final assessment, whereby they conduct and project proposal describing the topic of focus the student will explore while engage in their professional experience (LO1). The final tasks requires student to describe and analyse Human Service practice in relation to the specific topic of interests the student has identified and research in the Annotated Bibliography and Project proposal (LO3, 4).

These assessment tasks have been designed for student to develop skills in identify, researching literature on and investigate in practice, an issue they are interested in, in any human service setting.

Assessment Tasks 

The assessment tasks are designed to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. Assessment will be on a pass/fail basis.   

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Hurdle Task 

Weekly Journal  

Students must maintain a weekly on-line journal throughout the semester and professional experience detailing the development of their ideas and thoughts.

LO1, LO2

GA4, GA7

Assessment Task 1 

2,000 words 

A project proposal outlining the issue students wish to explore in professional experience


LO1, LO2

GA 4

Assessment Task 2 

Professional experience 

Students are required to complete 100 hours of professional experience in a human service setting


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA7, GA8

Assessment Task 3 

1,000 words 

A project report on completion of professional experience discussing the issue proposed in the project proposal and practice issues from professional experience


LO3, LO4

GA 7, GA 8

Representative texts and references

Allen, R., & Bellamy, J. (2012). Practitioner's guide to using research for evidence-based practice (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. 

Cargill, J., & Pack, M. (2015). Evidence Discovery and Assessment in Social Work Practice. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference 

Harris, H., Wijesinghe, G., McKenzie, S., (2013) The Heart of the Good Institution: Virtue Ethics as a Framework for Responsible Management. Dordrecht: Springer 

Langlois, L., (2011) The Anatomy of Ethical Leadership:To Lead Our Organizations in a Conscientious and Authentic Manner. Edmonton: AU Press, Athabasca University.

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